The Academic Experience at VES

At VES, students love to learn.

The VES academic curriculum delivers all of the courses you expect in English, History, Science, Math and World Languages, including 16 AP classes and advanced classes in several academic departments, such as our Science and Math Advanced Consortium, Multivariable Calculus and Spanish VI. You can take electives in Psychology, Economics, Sports Medicine, World Religions and other areas that may interest you.

We also offer an innovative four-year Computer Science program, and Arts courses such as Video Production, Public Speaking, Technical Theater, Jazz Ensemble, Glee Club and other subjects that will stretch your creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.

You will build connections across subject areas through our interdisciplinary humanities work in the ninth and tenth grades and unique English and History electives. And in your senior year, you can apply to the Advanced Studies program, where you will complete a project in an academic discipline of your choice (or work in multiple disciplines—we love that!). You will be supported by a faculty mentor as you engage in independent research while producing work to share with and beyond the VES community.

Our faculty builds project-based learning into each of their classes to help you develop the skills needed to solve real-world problems, find innovative solutions, and work collaboratively with peers. You will see that VES teachers use a wide variety of activities and approaches to keep class time dynamic and engaging, making sure to reach and understand each individual student. And our teachers are committed to being accessible for extra help and support.
Classes are small—the average size is 11—to encourage contributions of all students. We say there is no back row at VES.

Throughout the year, students showcase personal examples of learning inside and outside of the classroom to their peers, our faculty and staff, parents, the Board of Trustees and our broader Lynchburg community.

See Our Academic Learning Experiences in Action


With Shark Tank investors intently listening, three entrepreneurial student teams have pitched their product innovations and new academic building designs, hoping to win the sharks' confidence and financial backing. These students are members of VES’ Science and Math Advanced Consortium, a senior-level, interdisciplinary, student-driven program that teaches the fundamentals of advanced science and math, while focusing on critical thinking, design thinking for innovation, research, collaboration and presentation. Students live into real-world collaborative work experiences and are developing viable solutions for the marketplace. This year, the class will build the first-ever VES Tiny House.


Language students at all levels partner within their class to create original short films. The projects involve script writing in the target language, costume and set design, acting and video production. The projects culminate in Oscars Night, where the VES community and outside native language-speaking judges comes together to view and vote on the nine movies. It’s a night of exhibition and celebrating our culture of creativity, innovation, collaboration, as students also demonstrate their command of spoken language.


Globally minded VES students ask questions and listen intently to learn about cultural differences and similarities—around the dining table at school or across the globe on immersive travel and study programs. Through our VES partnerships with FACES & Our Cultures and Spoleto Study Abroad program, students build cross-cultural understanding, empathy and respect, while becoming genuinely engaged global citizens. And students with an interest in global policies, diplomacy and international relations participate in our Model UN program. 


As a VES community we have explored issues of social and health equities and practiced civil discourse; hosted a week of education, open dialogue and engaging activities focused on Islam, religious beliefs, global awareness and pluralism; tackled elements of racism with the goal of creating understanding and empathy. This work blends thought-provoking documentaries and discussion, integrated classroom learning, expert speakers, chapel talks, debate club topics, civil discourse opportunities and parent learning. Conversations such as these are what VES is all about—opening minds, knowledge-sharing and building understanding, and encouraging exploration, curiosity, civil discourse and critical thinking.


Our faculty conduct strategic learning days, with 20+ offerings from which students may choose. Called “Paideia” classes—Greek for “education”—these sessions give faculty the opportunity to teach topics beyond their core curriculum and students the chance to learn new information and gain new experiences in areas of interest. Classes range from the practical to the frivolous, may be held outdoors or inside the classroom, and may be conducted in English, Spanish, French or Chinese. Topics run the gamut. Examples include history of the macaron that includes baking the delectable treats, conversations about feminism, pottery and raku firing, improv, the culture and mythology of Ireland, building smart machines, the haka tribal dance, Star Struck: an Introduction to the Universe and many more.

A College Preparatory, Independent Boarding and Day School for Students in Grades 9-12
400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 • 434.385.3600